Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Our lives were forever changed that Saturday afternoon 24 November 1990 ... my father died.
It was a beautiful Saturday, the sun was shining, you could hear the lawnmowers and smell the freshly cut grass, like most Saturdays, but ... my father died.
The calls started streaming in on the landline, my mother having to say the same thing over and over again, family started arriving with food and flowers and yet ... my father died.
We were swimming and playing, lying in the sun, laughing and eating soft-serve from the ice-cream truck in the street ... still ... my FATHER DIED!
We were never taught about death and frankly I think that people just want the uncomfortable feelings to go away as quickly as possible, especially their uneasiness with the person grieving. Heaven forbid, you are not happy and perfect all the time! People will give canned words of wisdom about the deceased being better off, everything happens for a reason and God works in mysterious ways. It doesn't matter that those left behind's lives were shattered. The unfinished cup of coffee is still standing next to their side of the bed. The blood soaked towels from the internal bleeding is still lying on a pile in the bath. Nothing hurts more than having loved ones ignore your grief as if the most traumatic thing that could ever happen, never happened. The moment the hearse drives away, your life must immediately returned to normal.
I was only 14 at the time this happened, and to be honest I didn't really know what was going on, because here is someone I have known all my life, suddenly gone. I never saw the body, so in my mind he was just not home. For about 20 years afterwards, I still had a recurring dream that he was just on a business trip, or that he was a secret agent.
Grief is not just about someone passing away. Grief takes on many forms; Moving house, emigrating, your loving companion pet disappearing, someone stealing your vehicle, breaking up with your partner, being ghosted by a friend, home invasions, being shamed on social media, the list is endless. The one thing all of these events have in common, is that it has the same impact on the central nervous system, and it has the same chemical cascade of hormones rushing through the body. People speak about big trauma and small trauma, but the truth is, it is individual. One person may be more resilient to trauma than the next person even if both were exposed to the same incident. These events in my life made me look at the way we deal with physical and emotional pain, and this is what lead me to searching for an alternative way in dealing with trauma and so finding my path in becoming a CranioSacral Therapist (see previous blog).
The beauty about CranioSacral Therapy is that you do not have to talk about your pain, you don't have to pretend, nothing is expected of you, it is 1 hour of your life where someone holds you, really holds you, without judgement, looks at you, unflinching, witnessing, in absolute presence what you have been through in unconditional love. A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to be introduced by my beloved to a similar modality named Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR). Even though it is not a body work modality like CST, I was astonished at how similar it was in its approach to be the witness of someone's trauma instead of trying to heal or fix it. Trying to heal, do, fix or advise people through the dirty rags of our experiences, does not make people feel seen or heard, it makes them feel judged, ignored, and controlled.
We both decided to complete this course so that it could be complimentary to what we were already doing in our respective practices. The last couple of years, there has been so much loss that it has become imperative for us to be able to deal with grief. There is not one person that comes to see us that is not dealing with trauma and grief in some form or other. During our TIR course, we had to work on fellow students and we were both blown away at how effective this method of listening and witnessing was in resolving and compartmentalizing our own grief. The only way I can describe my personal experience is that I could finally look at a traumatic experience, speak about what happened without interruption, and in so doing finally closing all the open browsers in my brain that prevented me from moving forward. I see it as having a bad song playing very loud 24/7 and now finally realizing that I have the ability to turn down the sound. The song is still playing, it is not like we can erase our painful experiences as if it never happened but we can reduce the debilitating sting.
What is so incredible about TIR is that it is so simple and straightforward. It is highly directive, yet non-interpretive and non-evaluative. TIR is based on the creation of a safe space for the client (viewer). The sessions are open ended which gives the viewer enough time to process, so a session can go on for as long as the viewer needs, which can be 3 hours at a time. It can also be conducted on Zoom or Whatsapp video.
These techniques of holding are exactly what an unseen, ignored soul needs to heal. May you be privileged, to be seen, held and heard in this unconditional way.
If you would like to experience CST or TIR, book a session by clicking on the Book now Button.